The Atlanta Music Project

Board of Advisors

  • Tom Bates

    Tom Bates has more than 20 years experience starting and running new businesses for major media companies and is the founder of Atlanta-based website He is currently working on a new social commerce start-up and building a school in Cambodia. Bates grew into a website that helps 20 million homeowners a year plan projects and choose highly rated contractors. Kudzu is also the services directory on 100 websites including…Read More

  • Alcides Rodriguez

    Alcides Rodriguez joined the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as bass clarinetist in the fall of 2005. He received his degrees in music from Baylor and Northwestern Universities, studying with Richard Shanley,Russell Dagon, and J. Lawrie Bloom, as well as chamber music with Larry Combs. He began his musical training in the Youth Symphony Orchestra of his hometown, Guanare, Venezuela, and continued at the National Conservatory of Music of Venezuela with professors Valdemar Rodríguez and Luis Rossi…Read More

  • Joseph Conyers

    Profiled in Ebony Magazine as one of 30 Leaders 30 and Younger, Joseph H. Conyers is the newly appointed assistant principal bass of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He joins Philadelphia after a one-and-a-half tenure with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, three-and-a half years as principal bass of the Grand Rapids Symphony (MI), and four summers as a member of the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra (NM)…Read More

  • Melanie Darby

    Melanie Darby is the new Education Manager at Clayton State University’s Spivey Hall. An experienced non-profit administrator and arts educator, Melanie has worked with many of the top Atlanta arts organizations including the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta Opera Company, and the Alliance Theatre…Read More

  • Dr. Marian L. Harrison

    Dr. Marian L. Harrison is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. In August of 2007, she became the first African American to receive the Doctorate of Music degree in Music Composition from Indiana University’s (IU) Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana. While attending IU, she studied composition with David Baker, Sven-David Sandström, David Dzubay, Don Freund, and P.Q. Phan…Read More

  • Rhonda Hills

    Hills has spent her entire career in digital marketing and emerging media defining strategic roadmaps for business and brands. Most recently Hills was vice president and chief marketing officer for, responsible for all marketing activity and product strategy. She joined in 2010 to lead the site’s national expansion and manage its cross-media partnership with HGTV…Read More

  • Ahmad Mayes

    Ahmad Mayes recently returned to his native city of Atlanta as an accomplished youth orchestra administrator, music educator, and musician. Most recently, Ahmad served as the Director of Operations & Artistic Administration for Youth Orchestras of San Antonio (YOSA), where he was integral in the creation of the YOSA Music Learning Center, an El Sistema inspired orchestra program that is now in its third year serving impoverished youth in San Antonio, Texas…Read More

  • Saju Samuel

    Saju Samuel is a highly entrepreneurial visionary who founded or co-founded over 10 businesses including three professional services organizations. Saju has over 19 years of outstanding leadership in business…Read More

  • Dr. Marilyn Seelman

    Dr. Marilyn Seelman is Music Director/Conductor of the Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestra of Atlanta. She received her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Conducting from the University of Miami-Coral Gables, Florida and her Master of Music in Viola from Boston University. She has held the position of Director of Orchestras and violist at Trinity University in San Antonio, The University of New Mexico-Albuquerque and Georgia State University…Read More

  • Stanford Thompson

    An Atlanta native, trumpeter Stanford Thompson is Program Director of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra’s Tune Up Philly, an El Sistema-inspired program. He is a member of the first class of Abreu Fellows at the New England Conservatory…Read More

  • Arjan Timmermans

    Arjan Timmermans is author of the famed blog, one of the most popular and critically acclaimed music blogs on the web. Since 2003, Arjan has been tipping readers about emerging acts and cutting-edge new music. The blog received a Forbes magazine “Best of Blog” award and Billboard magazine “Best Music Blog” award nomination in 2007…Read More

  • Ben Cherian

    Ben Cherian is an Atlanta entrepreneur who has spent most of his career bulding technology companies. He is the managing partner of ServiceCloud, a consultancy that helps companies design and manage their IT infrastructure. He also runs Kinetic Path, a company that helps businesses align their business goals with their technology strategy…Read More

  • Sue Heineman

    Sue Heineman has been principal bassoonist of the National Symphony Orchestra since September 2000. Prior to joining the NSO, she held positions with the New Haven, Memphis, New Mexico, and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras. She has appeared as soloist with the NSO on numerous occasions, as well as with the Kennedy Center Chamber Players, comprised of principal players from the NSO…Read More

  • David Claassen

    David is an Executive Producer. He is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Gasoline Films. Claassen is Director, Writer/Publisher Relations for BMI Atlanta. In his position, Claassen is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with BMI songwriters and music publishers in Atlanta and throughout the Southeast region…Read More

  • Niki Baker

    Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
    Manager of Ensembles & Instruction

    Niki joined the ASO in the fall of 2011 from three years of teaching at the Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy in Atlanta Public Schools. In her career, Niki has also worked for the Lovett School as an Applied Music Instructor for double bass, and the Atlanta Chamber Orchestra where she was not only a Public Relations Representative…Read More